This disk brings together two compositions closely linked to 20th-century ballet music. They are also close from a chronological point of view: Sergey Prokofiev’s Ten Pieces for Piano from the Ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’ appeared in 1937, Paul Hindemith’s The Four Temperaments for piano and strings in 1940.
Among composers of the last century Prokofiev in particular was devoted to the programmatic suite genre, which allowed him to breathe new life into the musical material of his own, mainly scenic, works. The composer regarded such genre changes as an opportune and natural way to expand not only the range of performers, but also his auditorium. Often Prokofiev worked simultaneously on a scenic work and suites derived from its musical content. Especially fruitful in this respect were three ballets composed in his homeland during his mature creative period – Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and The Tale of the Stone Flower. Music from each of these was embodied in four suites – the maximum number for Prokofiev’s genre transformations.